Urinary Tract Infections: 9 ways to stay ahead of UTIs
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the great literal and figurative pains in this world. If you’ve ever had a UTI, then you know how painful they can be. Not to mention inconvenient.
The first symptoms of a UTI are usually followed by the hassle of a trip to the doctor, then the pharmacist for a course of antibiotics. And that’s just the beginning. Since antibiotics increase your risk of yeast infections, there’s a good chance you’ll be back in front of your doctor and pharmacist soon after the UTI clears up to handle the yeast infection.
UTIs are the second most common infection in the United States, second only to the common cold, and 50% of all women will get a UTI at some point in their life.
What causes urinary tract infections?
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract. About 90% of the time, the culprit is E. coli which get pushed from the skin around your genital area into your urinary tract.
The urinary tract consists of four components: the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Ureters are tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder.
When bacteria attach to your urinary tract, a UTI sets in. The infections are painful and can escalate quickly, traveling to the kidneys if untreated. If you have a UTI, you need to visit your doctor or ob gyn and get an antibiotic prescription to clear up the infection.
A UTI that goes untreated can lead to a kidney infection, with symptoms like fever, mid-back pain on one or both sides, fatigue, headache, and body aches.
Kidney infections are dangerous and must be treated right away: If you’ve had a stubborn UTI and suspect it’s escalated to a kidney infection, contact your healthcare provider and get yourself to the Emergency Room, stat.
A note for pregnant folks: UTIs are more common during pregnancy – and when you’re carrying a baby, it’s especially important that you seek treatment ASAP. Some bladder pain during pregnancy is normal, but if the pain becomes severe or if you develop any of the other typical symptoms of a UTI, talk to your healthcare provider right away.
UTI Risk Factors
Some people may be more prone to getting urinary tract infections. People AFAB stands for “assigned female at birth.” are especially prone to UTIs due to their shorter urethras, which provide easier access for bacteria to enter the urinary system.
Other factors that can increase the risk of UTIs:
- Previous UTIs
- Sexual intercourse
- Changes in the vaginal microbiota, or vaginal flora, either due to menopause or due the use of spermicides.
- Being pregnant
- Age (older adults and young children are more likely to get UTIs)
- Issues with the shape and structure of the urinary tract, i.e., enlarged prostate in men.
- Blockages in their urinary tract, such as the ones resulting from a kidney stone.
- Inadequate hygiene habits, such as in toddlers who are learning to use the restroom.
How can you prevent UTIs in the first place?
There are a handful of ways you can help your body boost its natural defenses against UTIs:
Stay well hydrated: Urination is your body’s best natural defense against UTIs, and the better hydrated you are, the better your body can fend for itself.
Don’t hold it in: We’re not saying to go to the bathroom when you feel the slightest urge to urinate—over time that weakens your pelvic floor and decreases the size of your bladder. However, holding your urine for too long can lead to bacteria multiplying in the urinary tract. This can cause a bladder infection or UTI.
Wipe from front to back: Wiping in the other direction can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract.
Consider cutting out baths: Avoid baths if you’re especially prone to UTIs and opt for showers instead.
Pee right after sex: This helps to flush out any bacteria that might have been introduced during intercourse.
Let her breathe: Wet bathing suits, tight pants, and sweaty gym clothes trap moisture which harbors bacteria. If you are prone to UTIs, change right after your workout or beach day. If you can’t resist a good pair of tight jeans—slip into something cotton (or commando) as soon as you get home.
Ditch the douche: As if there aren’t enough reasons to keep douches far away from your vagina, they also kill the good bacteria (lactobacillus) your body needs to combat a UTI. Maintain your natural pH balance instead of squirting harmful antiseptic water up your vagina.
Evaluate your birth control options if you’re suffering from repeat UTIs: Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for contraception may increase the risk of developing a UTI. (PS. Period products, however, have not been associated with UTIs!).
Drink Uqora: Wondering how to prevent UTI when you feel it coming? Give cranberry juice a break and try Uqora. With Uqora, you can flush out UTI-causing bacteria whenever you’re at risk of developing a UTI.
It isn’t always as simple as wiping front-to-back and peeing after sex. For some of us, you can be doing everything right and still be getting hit with UTI after UTI.
Here’s a scenario: you and your friend have similar hygiene habits, are having a similar amount of sex, and have similar post-sex and post-workout regimens, yet you get slammed with UTI after UTI, and she is cruising through life oblivious to your suffering. Sound familiar?
Well, all of our bodies respond differently to bacteria. Research is still limited, but recent studies have illustrated that our bodies have a lock-and-key relationship with bacteria. This means that you could transplant the same bacteria into your friend’s urinary tract, and she’d successfully flush the bacteria out with urination, but you’d be on a hot route to the doctor’s office.
This explains why some of us get hit so hard with urinary tract infections, no matter how much we’re peeing after sex or wiping correctly.
This just means that some of us need extra help. With Uqora, you can flush out UTI-causing bacteria, preventing an infection before it starts. Just mix Uqora with a glass of water and drink it when you’re at risk of developing a UTI, like after sex or exercise, or even daily.
Uqora tastes like pink lemonade and also gives your immune system an extra boost so you can say ahead of UTIs.
Want to give it a try? Prevent UTIs with Uqora—take 15% off at www.uqora.com with promo code FLEX15
This article is informational only and is not offered as medical advice, nor does it substitute for a consultation with your physician. If you have any gynecological/medical concerns or conditions, please consult your physician.
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